Sports Letters: Hounded out

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your article (30 June) regarding low Test match ticket sales suggests poor World Cup performance or poor opposition are to blame. May I suggest another likely cause.

With a group of friends I have attended the first three days of every Test at Trent Bridge since 1993. The group has varied in number from four to eight and, with tickets well over pounds 30 each, we have spent around pounds 5,000 in that time.

We will not be attending again after the appalling way we and many others in the Hound Road Stand were treated at last year's match against South Africa. Eight of us arrived with 10 cans of beer between us which were confiscated, available for collection at the end of play. The average age of our group is over 40. I was given the excuse that these restrictions were imposed by the ECB on police advice and offered the scenario that I could have gone to the bar, which was open, purchased six pints and been incapable by the start of play. In a ridiculous application of the rules, the two 60-year-old gentlemen next to me had their single bottle of claret confiscated.

We were also insulted by announcements made before the start of play, warning that our neighbours could "shop" us to any steward and, if we didn't immediately comply with the steward's instructions, we would be ejected from the ground. I believe applause was permitted.

We have attended our last Test as a regular event. The King George at Ascot or the golf will do nicely.

MAURICE J EDGINGTON

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

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